The Hidden Zodiac

Bracken House - London
Bracken House – London (Photo credit: Remko van Dokkum)

Are you a Gemini with the sun at 24° and wonder why you feel more like an Aquarian?

Or maybe you’re a Scorpio with the sun intercepted in the 8th and you still don’t feel that you have access to all those powerful, transformative Scorpio traits you keep hearing so much about?

Maybe you have a stellium of five planets all bunched up in Virgo in the third house with an unaspected Scorpio Sun in the fifth and you just know in your heart that you are a Leo so you’ve turned a skeptical eye toward all this astrology hooey?

There’s the zodiac…and then there’s the hidden zodiac…the zodiac of nuances in your chart that defies a cookie-cutter description.

Some chart features that can cause a disconnect between what we’ve read and what we feel inside are:

  • Intercepted Houses
  • Astrological Voids ~ empty houses and unaspected planets
  • Decans and Duads
  • Stelliums
  • The Earth

I want to share some resources that can help make sense of the oddities in your chart and may help clear up some questions you have.

Astrological Voids by Janis Huntley answers one of the first questions we ask about our chart ~ What about the houses without planets in them? Does that mean I’m not interested in those things? I don’t have any planets in my 7th house, but I definitely want a lover, husband, life partner.

Huntley explains how all those empty houses do have importance in our charts and how we go about understanding where we focus our interest in those house matters.You may know to look to the ruler of a house for more understanding. Huntley takes you beyond that description to explain how the ruler of an empty house is impacted by other houses, empty or populated.

Huntley also gives an explanation of unaspected planets and how they might behave without the influence of any other planet. Unaspected planets are somewhat rare, but the likelihood increases if there is a stellium in a chart. Astrotheme has a nice article on unaspected planets if you’re interested.

Joanne Wickenburg is an amazing teacher and author. In her book, Your Hidden Powers: Intercepted Signs and Retrograde Planets, she gives us great instruction on how to access the intercepted signs that are hidden within a house. She likens the house containing an intercepted sign to a room. Within that room is a closet (the intercepted sign). You can’t open the door to that closet until you have first entered the room. She can get you to that closet. There’s also lots of juicy info on retrograde planets and transits. This is not a cookbook and will take some serious study. has a transcript of Wickenburg’s 2005 ASA lecture, Intercepts and Retrogrades: Your Hidden Powers. She also has a presence on FaceBook now and has recently posted a nice article on rulers of the ascendant.

Decanates, A Full View by Bernice Prill Greber is one of my favorite little secrets. She gives amazing descriptions of each of the Decanates (decans) which are ten degree divisions of the signs and the duads (or dwaads) which are 2½ degree divisions of the signs. What makes one Gemini different from another besides the obvious placement of the planets in the chart? This book explains it all, quite thoroughly.

Many astrologers have touched on stelliums (a grouping of four or more planets in the same sign or house) but a book hasn’t been dedicated to this topic. Donna Cunningham presented a course on stelliums recently and is repeating the course beginning September 8, 2012. I don’t have a stellium in my chart, but I do have three planets in Cancer. I’ve learned so much about how this cluster works, especially with transits to a group of planets, and recommend the course highly for anyone with a similar grouping. The course focuses on the Capricorn stellium of 1988-89 and the group of young people who will soon be our leaders, but would be valuable to anyone with a stellium in their chart.

English: From Andreas Cellarius Harmonia Macro...

There’s one other thing hidden in plain sight in our chart ~ the planet Earth. It lies directly opposite the sun in our natal chart. But what does that mean? Alan Oken has a very helpful article on The Earth and its Meaning in Your Horoscope on his site. Don’t overlook this hidden feature of your chart. At some point, we take all the celestial influences and bring them down to the earth we live on and deal with every single day. They manifest in our daily actions and behaviors, as well as our legacies. Why not spend some time studying the symbolism of the Earth in your chart? If you have strong placements in Taurus, you’ll find this especially interesting as the Earth is considered by many astrologers to be the ruler of this earthiest of earth signs.

11 thoughts on “The Hidden Zodiac

  1. Great resources, CJ! Upon your recommendation earlier, I ordered Astrological Voids from, and it’s excellent material, especially for those with stelliums, since the big concentration of planets in the same sign or house, usually with several conjunctions, creates a lot of voids. Donna

  2. Thanks for all the great information, CJ!!

    I found the Earth placement especially interesting, as I have Taurus rising. I’ve never really been sure about interpretations of Venus as my chart ruler because some astrologers say it would be Earth. Still have some confusion about that.

    Oken’s article puts Earth in Gemini- my 2nd house, which appears to be a nice placement.

    I will be sure to check out some of your other recommendations given here.

    1. Glad the Oken article was helpful. Think about this when it comes to rulerships. If Mercury is on the ascendant where it really shows, the person seems more Gemini than Virgo. With Venus on the ascendant, Libra traits come out instead of Taurus; with Mars, Aries instead of Scorpio. Put Pluto there, and the Scorpio qualities emerge, and so on with the other planets and signs. Jupiter brings out Sadge qualities, while Neptune brings out Pisces. Virgo and Taurus are still mysteries, but Earth makes sense to me.

      1. Actually, it makes more sense to me too, now. Thank you for that explanation!

        I think it feels like earth fits, but I liked the idea of Venus ruling. 😉

        Even with their earthiness, all the Virgos I know are Mercurial to some extent, though definitely more grounded than Gemini. I have a hard time seeing Chiron as a dedicated ruler for Virgo, which seems to be the direction a lot of others lean to. Thanks again, CJ!

        1. Nobody wants to give up Venus. I mean, come on. It’s Venus! My Moon in Taurus sure didn’t want to let go of her, but finally embraced Earth. Virgo is a whole other thing, huh? I think the planet that used to comprise the whole asteroid belt was Virgo’s ruler. It imploded under the pressure. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the useful resources! It appears my Earth is conjunct with the North Node in Leo, 12th house 🙂 A lot to think of!

    1. That would make your Sun conjunct the S. Node, Tuta. More to investigate!

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